For years’ word fats have been associated with adverse health, something that increases the risk of heart disease, responsible for obesity, chronic fatigue, even diabetes, and much more, though there is partial truth in it, but not entirely. Just consider the fact that your brain is mainly made up of cholesterol, or every single cell wall has cholesterol in it. In fact, during last few decades, it has been found that our health is suffering due to indiscriminate cut back on fats. Not all fats are ugly; some are really good for our health.

Fats are an excellent source of energy; they help to absorb many vitamins, they cover our nerves, make cell walls, they help in blood clotting, they are needed for muscular movement.

Good fats are mono- and polyunsaturated fats, While saturated fats are useful only if consumed in a limited amount.

The bad fats

The worst of all fats are so-called trans fats. They are created by so-called hydrogenation of the healthy oils, thus converting the oil into poorly soluble solids. In the 20th century, they found extensive usage in the cuisine. Eating trans-fat can elevate the level of bad fats that is LDL while decreasing the level of good fats in blood- called HDL. Trans-fats also increase the insulin resistance, thus contributing to the development of diabetes. Even the smallest of the quantity of trans-fat is bad for health. These are humanmade fats and do not have any known benefit for health.

Not so bad fats

Saturated fats are not so bad if consumed in right quantity. Foods like red meat, whole milk, milk products, coconut oil, and many commercially available baked products are rich in them. 

Saturated fats have lots of calories, however, overconsuming them may increase the levels of harmful LDL fats, and thus increase the risk of blockage of arteries. At present, it is recommended that not more than 10% of your energy should come from the saturated fats.

Though there has been some controversy regarding the saturated fats in recent times, nonetheless, most of the clinical studies seem to indicate that limiting their intake is beneficial for general health and heart in particular.

The good fats

As we already mentioned that fats are essential for our wellbeing, so the secret of being healthy is not cutting down on fats, instead, consuming good fats. Vegetables, nuts, and oily fish are all sources of healthy fats.

We all know about the benefits of Mediterranean diet, which is about fish and olive oil. Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fats that are quite good for health. Other sources of this good representative of fats are peanut oil, avocados, canola oil, and most nuts.

Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats, meaning that our body cannot produce them, and cannot survive without them. Corn oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil are all rich sources of these good fats.

But perhaps the most well know fatty acid is omega-3 fatty acid. It has been most extensively studied in the clinical trials for a beneficial effect on brain and heart. Many professional organizations now recommend consuming it in enough quantity. Fatty fish, nuts, and many seed oils are abundant in it.

In conclusion, remember that fats are truly good for us, for healthy life consume good quality fats while cutting down on the bad and ugly ones.

Image: / jarmoluk, idornbrach

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